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Title: Maltese Evangelical Christianity : an ethnography
Authors: Buttigieg, Michael
Keywords: Catholic Church -- Malta
Evangelicalism -- Malta
Christianity -- Malta
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: This study of Maltese Evangelical Christians starts with my personal experience of being the son of born-again parents, and the difficulty I found in relating my own upbringing as an Evangelical with the experience of converts from Roman Catholicism over the years. In recent times, I found Anthropology to provide a good epistemological paradigm through which I can investigate born-again Christianity beyond the remits of theology. In this dissertation, I therefore present an examination of the religious experiences of Maltese Roman Catholics converted to Evangelicalism. These are experiences of men and women I have met in fieldwork conducted during the summer of 2016 among two local and Reformed Baptist church communities, Knisja Evanġelika Battista (KEB) and Knisja Evanġelika Trinità (KET). During this time, my informants shared about how Evangelical missionaries, friends, and relatives, challenged them to revisit their own Roman Catholic faith with the Gospel. Those who accepted the challenge found a number of inconsistencies between the Bible and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. With this revelation, my informants felt betrayed by the institution they entrusted with their life. The challenge also led them to seek for themselves a personal experience of God rather than one mediated by a church. Nevertheless, while the Evangelical faith validated the personal experience of God, it also required believers to make a fresh commitment to the local church as well. Informants found themselves to be sceptical about this commitment to another church, after their disillusionment with Roman Catholicism. Eventually all my informants became committed to a church, but their scepticism of organized denominational Christianity never seized to be influential in their lives. Most of my informants expressed their dissatisfaction with Evangelical orthodoxy and orthopraxy, and while some moved from one church to another in search for the perfect community, others simply chose to practice their faith on the margins of the Evangelical movement. Finally, this project is intended to raise new interests in the study of fundamentalist movements within the anthropology of Christianity, particularly in the context of secularizing Roman Catholic societies like Malta.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2017
Dissertations - FacArtAS - 2017

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